Sunday, January 15, 2012

Family Treasures

My last Uncle passed away this week at the age of 90.  Even though I'm very sad about his loss, there is comfort in knowing that he had a good long life. And even despite a few health problems, he was lucky to be able to continue living at home with his wife (my Aunt of course) of more than 60 years.  My Uncle's passing reminded me that he and my two remaining Aunts are truly a connection to other family members, my past, my childhood and my Mother.  They are what I consider our 'family treasures.'  

With the arrival of Lucas this week, I have thought a lot about 'family treasures.'  He is as you know a senior dog, about 12 or 13 years old.  To many, Lucas would be considered a family treasure.  One that would be looked after, worried about and cared for.  But he wasn't...Or was he? 
I was contacted by someone from the rescue that Lucas's owner had come forward late on Friday to claim him.  The shelter contacted the rescue and asked about perhaps returning him.  I discussed at length with the volunteer from the rescue about Lucas's physical condition--He's almost totally deaf, thin, and as mentioned, his teeth are in terrible condition (!!), and he's also not neutered.  While he may have been loved, I don't believe that he has been cared for or worried about.  This was confirmed when the shelter manager said that the explanation given about why he wasn't looked for earlier was because he was an outdoor dog and 'would be gone for several days, but always came home.'  The owner also said that Lucas 'knew about cars and knew to stay out of the street.'  My problem with that is that Lucas came from the inner-city of Baltimore, not the safest place for anyone on the street, two or four legged.
However the question remained, should Lucas be returned?  He was held at the shelter for the required 5 days.  The rescue legally owns him.  However, when there are extenuating circumstances and owners come forward afterwards, there have been times when dogs have been returned.  But all things such as the owners explanation, the condition of the Golden and the life they would be returning to are all considered and discussed.

In Lucas's case, because of the extensive cost, he probably won't receive the needed vet care.  He also would probably be returning to a life on the street, or maybe even tied up outside. 
Taking all this into consideration, it was decided and I agree that he should not be returned to his previous owner.  I know that some of you will disagree with this decision, and may find it 'heartless.' I respect those feelings.  But I feel strongly that Lucas should have the care he deserves at his age.  He should have a warm place to sleep and good meals every day.  He should have someone who worries about him, every day.  Lucas should have a home where every day, he's treasured.


  1. Absolutely the right decision, I so whole heartedly agree. It is Lucas who is the important one here and his quality of life, which he will obviously get with yourselves. He looks such a lovely chap.

  2. Aww, sweet Lucas! Miss Kim made the right decision for you! Now you will get the attention, love and care that you need and deserve, I'm so happy for you!

  3. You have made a very difficult but I agree right decision...This fellow deserves warm fires and lots of hugs and lots of love...I am sending love all the way through the internet....give him a kiss from Seaview Cottage....

  4. Who would disagree with that decision, send them to me! You and the rescue made the ABSOLUTE right decision, that owner should be up on charges of neglect.

    Thankfully Lucas will spend his remaining days being loved and cared for. Too many don't get that option.

    I've said it before and I will say it many more times. There has to be a special place in heaven for people like you, Kim.

    God Bless You.

  5. whew! relieved he's staying with you, safe and sound!

  6. I am thrilled to hear of the decision for Lucas! This wonderful boy deserves to spend his final years in a home with people that will love and care for him! And that home is with YOU!

    I'm sorry of your uncles passing. May your memories of him continue to carry you forward.

  7. Oh yes, TOTALLY the right decision. My only hope is that the previous owners don't now go and get another dog to replace Lucas. That shouldn't be a life for a dog - what you offer is the proper life for a dog.

    Cally-Cat settling in well, thank you for your good wishes.

  8. Sweet Lucas...glad he stays by from are such a great woman !!

  9. Yes! And anyone who does not agree or understand should take a long hard look into his eyes, feel his ribs, and then decide if he doesn't deserve a better life in his old age. I'm so relieved he's staying with you Kim.

  10. He looks so comfortable and peaceful in the photos. And warm and well fed. Just as it should be for a dog:-) Good decisions.

  11. First, you have my condolences on the loss of your uncle. *Hugs*

    Second, I am pretty sure none of your daily readers would disagree with your decision to keep Lucas. If he was always 'wandering off', I'm sure he was looking for somewhere better. Now he has it.

    Last, that is a wonderful photo of the cardinal. Would make a lovely Christmas card or a fantastic puzzle.

    Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. ♥

  12. My condolences on your loss. I love the cardinal picture at the top of the post.

    As for Lucas, he is one lucky boy to have been rescued by your group. It is a good thing his previous owners took so long to claim him so they have no legal right to get him back. It is obvious they did as little as possible for that sweet old soul.

    Thanks for helping Lucas and all the others. You have a big heart.


  13. What is the trump card? An owners rights to living property, or animal welfare? A subjective dilemma indeed. Leaving Lucas to wander the streets, allowing him to be picked up for his and society's own safety and not searching hard enough to find him in the only logical place he could be; IMHO they surrendered their rights to ownership. Lucas' welfare is now in the hands to someone who will care for him the rest of his life. Case closed.

  14. Kim, to me you are a saint. What kind of life is that for a senior dog!! I would have done the same thing. Lilly, the cat I just lost, came from a family building a house in our area. Last summer they came and stayed in the house whilst building and I am sure the adults gave Lilly to their little toddlers (three children under the age of 5) to keep them "happy" and preoccupied. They left the house and came back 14 days later (where in the meantime I'd rescued Lilly). I had no idea initially it was their kitten, but since Lilly was sweet and used to being handled (even though it upset her terribly, she would cry in a heart wrenching way when handled) I gathered maybe it was their on/off kitten (is it your kitten when you abandon it for that long??). I felt terrified that they should discover Lilly at our place (we live on a hillside with an open view). Next time they came back (their voices could be heard across the valley - it ecoes a lot here) Lilly came down with a 48 hour virus (they were here for two days) and was fine when they left! Last time they came, on New year's Eve, she laid down with a fever the day after. Only this time she did not recover. I always wondered about her psychological scars.

  15. bless you for keeping Lucas...
    may he have many warm loving playful days with you and yours
    and I
    sorry about your loss of your beloved uncle....60 years of
    he had a wonderful life

  16. I told you, Lucas, you have a guardian angel!

    He certainly doesn't look homesick, now does he? :)

    Have a relaxing Sunday!

  17. This was the only decision to make. How could this be considered heartless? The owners didn't love him enough to give him proper care, they shouldn't have even be considered.

  18. Right on decision, Kim! He's better off now.

    Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

  19. Lucas is a lucky boy to come into your path.
    Good on you for standing up for him! He needs someone to.

    We rescued an old doberman early in our marriage, the shettler said he was the skinniest dog they had ever seen. He gave us great joy and we gave him a brilliant retirement home.

    Lucky Lucas!

    Love Leanne

  20. Sorry about your uncles passing.
    Oh my goodness. I am so very happy that he is not going to be returned. He definitely deserves a better life than what he has had. Who really knows why he would run away. Probably because he had to feed himself and look for his own food. Poor Lucas. Well poor Lucas until he now has found loving and caring people to watch over him.
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful stories. There is not one time that I read one of your post, that I do not thank God everyday for Roscoe. He has been a blessing to my husband and I. Roscoe has brought us the happiness and full filled the emptiness our home had from all the kids being gone.
    Thank you again for sharing your amazing stories.
    You and Carl you should consiver writing a book. I would be the firs inline for the signing.

  21. Family treasures deserve to be, well, treasured... Just sayin'...

  22. I'm glad that Luca's previous owners at least did make an effort (all-be-it delayed) to find him. This says that they weren't completely heartless. Still, I whole-heartedly agree with you and the rescue. The previous owners obviously did not provide adequate care and unless there was some verifiable proof that he would be a spoiled house-dog who would receive all of the veterinary care that he needs (including neutering)regardless of the expense)for the rest of his days, AND Lucas displayed an intense desire to return to the said, previous owners ~ who also agreed, in writing, to weekly home-visits to ensure that Luca was being properly cared for.

    The only reason I'd even consider giving the previous owners a second chance (which I highly doubt they'd accept, considering all of the conditions)is because when I was growing up, we had a mixed breed, unaltered male dog who was always allowed to run loose. It seems to me (and I could very well be wrong about this) that many people used to let their dogs run loose back then (in the 1950's ~ SHUT UP!). I also know that my parents couldn't afford preventative veterinary care but did take "Elmer" to the vet if he became sick or injured. And I can definitely attest to the fact that that intact, male, mutt
    ~ who roamed the neighbor hood and was most likely much more of a nuisance then the little girl that I was ever imagined ~ was very much loved. He was a member of the family. He slept in our beds and accompanied us kids as we wandered the neighborhood throughout our youth. He was my favorite 'brother' and the one who made me feel safe in an abusive home. I do recall Elmer being picked up by animal control, numerous times and the cost to get him back increased every time. If I remember correctly, and that is a big "IF", the last time he was picked up, it cost my folks $200.00 to get him back! Yet, they paid it. There was no way we'd ever abandon our dog. Sadly, the fact is, Mom and dad STILL let him run loose. Eventually, when he was thirteen years old, Elmer was poisoned. There was someone driving around the town we had moved to that threw out baited pieces of meat that had been laced strychnine. Thirteen dogs were killed that summer ~ many of which were tied out in their yards. My entire family (Mom, Dad and six kids) grieved for months. I'll never forget the sounds of Elmer's paws as he click, click, clicked from room to room and one bed to another, every night as he made his bed-check to make sure were were all safely tucked in. God, I loved that dog...

  23. Kim,
    I'm so sorry for your loss of a dear Uncle. Age always plays a part and you are right it seems he did live a good life with few illnesses. It still can be hard though.
    As for Lucas, you can send that previous owner home and I hope he crawls under a rock and hides for the lack of compassion, responsibility and love he certainly did not give this dog.
    What are these people thinking!!
    I'm so glad Lucas is staying where he belongs and can live out the rest of his life in dignity.
    He is so in a better place everyday with you and the rest of the crew.

  24. I am so sorry for the loss of you Uncle Kim. With our aging parents, siblings and my husband have realized the passage of time on earth is rather fleeting. One must truly enjoy every day we are alive.

    As for Lucas...he deserves this too. I agree he should not be returned. It is clear the previous home was not caring for him. Amazing he wasn't safe my foot. It only takes once for a dog to be hit and killed.

    That last photo of Lucas looks like he is saying "thank you".

  25. When Lucas 'wakes up' he will realize that this wasn't just a wonderful dream he was is his new home!

  26. treasures are so important. Sorry for your loss.

    As for Lucas, I'm with you 1000%!

    Gucci came from a rescue in Tennessee where she was bred before she was a year old. After three days of labor, the "owners" finally took her to the vet where she had a section and I assume she lost the pups. They never came back to pick her up and she was shipped up to Batavia NY where a friend of mine volunteered. She called me right away and I went over to pick her up. She still had stitches and was stinky dirty. She is now a very happy girl and is thriving with her pal Phoebe (also a rescue from Kentucky). Sometimes the owners just don't deserve to get their dogs back. Who would not love Lucas?

  27. We agree with you 100%!!!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & roxy

  28. i read this post holding my breath... praying silently that you would be able to keep him. thank God! he deserves his life now. he has done his time in hell. and we will never really know what hell that has been... just as the poor little Lilly, the kitten, whose story was so sad.
    my own beloved zeke was a rescue. he had been kicked, with broken ribs on both sides. it's time that
    "ownership" does not even enter into it when the welfare of the helpless animal is at stake. they are not pieces of furniture. they are living breathing creatures who can and do feel agony, just as we do. brava kim at golden pines. brava!
    love to you dear heart.
    tammy j
    and p.s.
    little children can be some of the major torturers of animals. they should always be watched closely, especially if the animal is a baby.

  29. I too was holding my breath as I read, hoping that the rescue would make the decision based on what's best for Lucas. And they did. I can't bear to think about his old joints lying on the cold ground and him roaming the city streets.

    Lucas deserves better and now we'll have it.

  30. first sorry for you loss of your Uncle.
    second- it looks to me that Lucus is right at home. Very good decision.

  31. Lucas is in the best place he can be - just don't let Todd give him a hard time!


  32. I'm very sorry about your uncle. I know how you feel. With my mother gone, my remaining uncle (her brother) feels very precious to me.

    As for Lucas, I am so glad that he's with you. Anyone who didn't even look for him for more than 5 days doesn't deserve him. We have people who let their dogs roam in our area, and it makes me so upset. I wish that they could get new and loving homes like Lucas.

  33. Very good choice regarding Lucas. He has a safe and loving home right where he is.
    I am sorry to hear about your Uncle. All things considered it sounds as if he made a good exit, much like mothers in April.

  34. So sorry to hear of your loss Kim.I was worried about the outcome for Lucas as I was reading through your post...and phew! thank God,he will be safe,loved and cared for at Golden Pines. :0)

  35. Hi Kim, I'm so glad you that are providing that loving, warm, safe place for Lucas to live. May his golden years truly be golden. I know that he could get no better care than what he'll get from you.
    Sending lots of love to you all.
    Hugs, Noreen & Reggie

  36. and what is not to say that LUcas came to be that special someone for you in this time of loss....

  37. I think that was a wise decision...
    Gill in Canada

  38. What a difficult decision! I'm glad Lucas is going to stay with you.
    - Anne

  39. So sorry about your uncle...
    Three cheers for Mr. Lucas, living his life with a family that will cherish him. You and Carl are angels!!

  40. Hi Kim
    Oh, I am so sorry about your uncle.
    I understand about family treasures and how you treasure what is left.
    Lucas needs to be with you, and get the medical attention that he deserves, love. Someone who would not let him roam.
    It was ment to be that Lucas come live at Golden Pines.
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful photo of the cardinal. Its sooo gorgeous!

  41. Kim,

    Our condolences on the passing of your uncle.
    The Lucas decision was 100% correct
    No question that he would not get the treatment he deserves. We are so happy that he will be staying with you for the time being.

    Sheila & Bob

  42. I'm sorry to hear of your loss of your beloved uncle. My dad also lived to be 90 and had a wonderful life. I did not weep for him when he passed, I only weeped for me because I missed him so. Lucas also deserves the best life possible in his golden years and I'm glad that he will have a new home with someone that truly wants him and all that goes with it. I feel bad for the people that lost him, but it's really not about them. Perhaps they will realize what good parenting means.

  43. Hi Kim,
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I jumped over to yours and after reading through a few of your posts, I now have a big lump in my throat. I too, am a dog lover. And I too, not long ago said goodbye to my beloved Sissy. Broke my heart and it still aches for her. I feel your loss of Bubba. What a bitter sweet story. So so sorry.
    I'm so happy that you're keeping Lucas! He is one lucky dog to have found you. I admire you so much for what you do. Keep up the good work. You have a new follower.

  44. I understand that connection to family treasures. My grandmother was the seventh of thirteen children. Her brother was the oldest and died very young, before he ever married or had family. The rest were sisters and were very close to one another. My childhood summers often involved traveling to visit them all in Alabama, and every one of them spoiled us like were were their own granddaughters. My grandmother was the first of her sisters to pass away, and there's something very comforting about the remaining circle of comfort and family left.

    I absolutely completely agree about the decision about Lucas. It doesn't seem to have any grey areas to me! If they were out of town and he were found in good condition, I could understand if a pet sitter lost track of him. To show up over five days later with the dog in such bad condition is another issue entirely.

  45. At a certain age warmth, food and security are things that all sentient beings deserve. Right decision .

  46. Condolences on the loss of your uncle. Mama is also on the cusp of moving into the 'oldest generation' in the family, as the generation before her passes on. How did we get this old?

    Absolutely the right decision for Lucas, and he's the only one who counts - finally.

    Jed & Abby

  47. Lucas will be safe and loved with you and have plenty of company ! I love the previous photos of him but couldn't comment. Sweet how the other dogs are peeping out of the door and your cats' paws picture is lovely.
    Have a good rest Lucas xx

  48. Hi Kim
    We're sorry to read about your Uncle's passing - our deepest sympathies to you.

    There was only one decision with regard to Lucas - he should be with you! He's safe now and will have a great life with you and your gang. No way the previous "owner" should get him back - after all those years of neglect. Mr Lucas has a new home and a new life!

    God bless you & him!

    Nadine & golden Neeli

  49. I am so sorry for the loss of your uncle.

    I am very happy for Lucas that you and the rescue stood up for him and are giving him the sort of home he deserves.

    I have no sympathy at all for people who don't take care of their pets. It's a fact that pets cost money. That means we have to make sacrifices. Either we give up other things, and take care of our pets, or we forgo having pets so we can have other things.....

    Thank you for doing the right thing for Lucas!

    ps -- gorgeous shot of the cardinal!

  50. I'm so sorry for the loss of your uncle, Kim.

    As for Lucas, I think it was absolutely the right decision for
    you to keep Lucas. I think it's horrible that his owners let him run loose in the middle of a big city like that! The only thing I can think is that people in the neighborhood may have kept an eye on him to make sure he was okay and that no one perstered him, because it really is incredible that aside from his hearing and his teeth he is in such good condition!

  51. My 1st thought when reading this was...'don't you dare send him back!'....our Zeke is going on 13 years old and he is FULL of life, but his former owner took him to get him put down because he was old and farts a lot.....these wonderful souls deserve a warm home where they can lay down and sleep and relax whenever they want. I hate that some people own animals that don't take into consideration how much goes into owning them. What a sweet boy you have in Lucas! He is blessed indeed and I am SO glad you get to keep him there to pamper him and love on him!! (I am trying very hard not to judge others and why they do or don't do some things, but I do have a hard time understanding how people can be so callous and ignorant about pets)
    Thank you for sharing this!

  52. I am so sorry for the loss of your uncle. Lucas is so lucky to have become a new family treasure.

  53. I am sorry for your loss of your uncle!! I only knew one of my uncles and I loved him dearly!!!
    Lucas was HIS name too!!!
    You all made the right decision!!!!
    XX, Fern

  54. Condolences on the loss of your Uncle.

    It doesn't sound like Lucas was very well cared for. he is probably better off in rescue.

  55. You know, I went back and forth on this one - my final thought was, where is Lucas happier? He's an old boy, is being separated from the life he knows the best thing at this time? I studied the pictures in this post and I think he looks content. You are right - his former environment was not a good situation. He needs to be somewhere safe.


  56. I am so sorry for the loss of your uncle. My deepest sympathies for you and for the rest of his family.

    I agree, I think this is the right decision for Lucas. Such a lovely dog needs to be taken care of all the time, not just some of the time and to be in a home where he is much loved.

  57. Kim, totally the right question about it. I am so pleased that the shelter and you both decided this would be the right thing for Lucas. Let him enjoy the last few years that he has left, and feel safe and be loved. Sue x

  58. I am so much in agreement with you Kim, and in favor of Lucas remaining with you and all the troops. It's the right thing to do.

  59. Definitely the right decision. How can they let him wander the streets if he is almost deaf.....he may know cars but he probably can't hear them. He deserves to be warm and safe in his golden years. Kudos to you and the shelter for standing up for him.

  60. I`m sorry for the loss of your uncle.
    I`m glad this dog will be loved indoors for the rest of his life.He sure is one lucky dog,phyllis

  61. Kim I am 100% behind you and the rescue! There is no question but that Lucas was not cared for or cherished and it would be unconscionable to return him to such lackadaisical owners. I would even take it a step further and make sure that they never owned a dog again! Yes I am tough about pet ownership and have always taken all responsibilities in my life VERY seriously. I cannot tolerate permissive attitudes where this is concerned.
    And I am not sorry if this offends anyone.
    I am over the moon that Lucas will be staying with you!
    Tina xo

  62. Sorry in all the excitement I had also meant to tell you how sorry I am to hear the news about your uncle, but how amazing that he lived to be 90!!!
    I have also found that as I have gotten older I feel so much more a part of the continuum that is my family and have started to take out very old family photos to hang on my walls. For some reason I find much comfort in their presence here in my home, even the ones I never had the opportunity to meet. Have a blessed day Kim!
    Tina xo

  63. Never disagree with Angels. Lucas is a lucky boy

  64. Totally the right decision! Lucky Lucas!

  65. Sorry to hear the loss of your Uncle ! It hurts my heart when people keep their dogs outdoors 24/7 with no love , affection or attention it happens a lot here and they wonder why the poor things run off and dont come back they are looking for love and care !


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